Literature Essay – “Kambili change in character” The novel “Purple Hibiscus” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie tells a story of how two Nigerain children rebelled against their very father. For these children to end up rebelling against their father they must first bring about a change in themselves, they must become more mature, more responsible and not so dependent on their father. Kambili is one of those children that does go through a considerable change in her character, she reaches maturity.
In fact this novel is a bildungsroman which is a story about a character self-development, her change. At the beginning of the novel, Kambili is seen as immature and young because of the fact that she is very observant but does not say anything because she is a rather shy girl. She is also shown as a naive and innocent, which makes us feel for her more. Kambili is also obsessed with her father, she thinks he is always right and as a result obeys him.
She is only happy when she makes her father happy, this is shown when she sleeps happily when she knows that her father was proud of her that she came first in class. Kambili is considered as a “backyard snob” because she never talks to anyone, never had any friends. This is not only because Eugene is very strict with his schedules and wants Kambili to be constantly studying but also she is a very shy girl and cannot express her emotions, in fact she barely ever laughs; “i was not sure wat my laughter sounded like”.
Kambili can be compared to Amaka, her cousin, who is the complete opposite of Kamibli. Amaka laughs, wears make-up, is a lively girl, listens to music and basically is like another normal teenage girl. However Amaka is one of those people who caused a change in Kambili because these two people became very close, in fact they become like sisters: tell stories to each other and Amaka helps her to cook. Amaka helps Kambili to become more open and helps her make friends. Amaka is only one of the many people that brought about a change in Kambili life.
Nsukka in general brigns change. It is when Kambili and Jaja visist Nsukka that they start to change, become more mature. This is because they live a different lifestyle, they are not constrained to Papa, they are allowed to be free and experiment! “Nsukka air will be good for me, for my recuperation” Father Amadi is another person who changed Kambili. Father amadi is an encouraging person who makes Kambili change. This is shown when Amadi manages to convince Kambili to run after him! In fact she says “i had smiled, run, laughed”, 3 things she had never one before. Because of the fact that Kambili starts to idealize and fall in love with Amadi that she starts to look up to Amadi and not to her father anymore! Father Amadi can be considered as one of her only friends! Aunty Ifeoma also helped kambili become less dependant on papa, this is shown when she takes the schedules from Kambili and Jaja and for the first time in their life Kambili and Jaja are free to do what they like which causes them to change. This change and maturity in Kambili is later shown when she starts to defy papa.
This is shown when she steals the picture of papa Nnukwu and keeps it in her room and when she describes Papa as a “tall stranger”! However Kambili still remains loyal to her father and obeys him still, she does not go to the extent and rebel totally against him, unlike Jaja. This also shows that she isn’t mature enough and therefore obeys her father and Jaja to an extent. One can conclude that due to Papa strictness she had a restricted life where she could not hang out with other people.
She was also scared of Papa because he used to abuse her and as a result Kambili did not know how to express herself properly and was usually very silent “bubbles in my throat”. However when she went to Nsukka; Amaka, Aunty Ifeoma and Father Amadi brought change. Due to these people and due to the fact that she was more free she learnt how to express herself, smile and laugh more often and act more and more like a natural girl. This causes her to start to defy Papa. Due to this maturity Kambili and papa manage to rebel against their fanatic father.